Professor Cynthia Cranford: Pandemic exposes deep flaws in Canadian home care system

May 7, 2020 by Sherri Klassen

The UTM Research News has recently published an interview with Professor Cynthia Cranford about care work during the pandemic. Professor Cranford is an Associate Professor of Sociology with undergraduate teaching responsibilities at the Mississauga campus. Her research focuses on inequalities of gender, work and migration, and collective efforts to resist them.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below; the full article can be found online on the UTM Research page here.

Pandemic exposes deep flaws in Canadian home care system

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 11:30am
Blake Eligh

The pandemic has infiltrated long-term care facilities, infecting staff and residents alike and resulting in scores of deaths. Now one U of T Mississauga sociologist is sounding the alarm for a hidden population that is also at grave risk: home care workers and their clients.

Over the past decade, associate professor of sociology Cynthia Cranford has studied home-based elder care and disability support programs in Ontario and California. She is the author of a new book that shines a light on the vulnerabilities of both care providers and receivers, covering themes of disability, aging, immigration and labour organization.

“As experts question long-term residential care, we should take this opportunity to recognize the importance of acute and ongoing support needs that people need to live dignified lives,” she says.

About a million Canadians rely on home care support for personal hygiene, medical assistance and help around the house.

“Home care is an essential underlying support to our broader health care system,” says Cranford. “It is vital to elderly and disabled people to get the assistance that they need with daily activities like eating, dressing, bathing, in order to live in their homes with dignity.” Home care also provides short-term acute care to people who can recover from illness or injury at home instead of in the hospital.